Saturday morning our long weekend to North Sumatra started. A nice short flight, because an hour later we had already landed. Before we knew it we were sitting in the mini for the four-hour drive to Lake Toba.
When we arrived at Kuala Namu airport we had to pass the always feared immigration. We stood in line by a woman who was handing out the stamps and she didn’t look happy. So that’s always wrong, I think the female immigration is a lot less friendly towards a woman than the male one. Finally, after Jeroen showed her the ticket back to Kuala Lumpur, I got the stamp in my passport.
We hadn’t reserved a taxi to Lake Toba in advance. On the internet, we read that you can easily get here at the airport itself. And this was true. When you leave the airport and walk towards the bus station, you will be overwhelmed with men who ask if you need to go to Parapat. You have to wait until they have found enough people for a van, this only takes five minutes. The cost, 9.000 Indonesian rupees per person, about €5.
Most tourists stay on the island of Samosir in the town of Tuk Tuk. Here you can spend the night in a Batak house, a traditional house with decorations and a pointed roof. The boat from Parapat drops off all guests at their hotel. The owners are already waiting for you there. The people here are very friendly and very curious. They may look at you all the time, but they are also ready to help you. This happens in half English half Indonesian, but eventually, you will get there.
We walked around for two hours in Tuk Tuk where even during the day you won’t find tourists at all. According to the owner of a restaurant, the season still has to start and he hopes that this year many people will visit the island again. It looks a bit sad and one wonders what the people of such a restaurant do all day if there is no one to be found on this island. We have selected some things for the next day, so at six o’clock we took the last boat back to Parapat. Meanwhile, the market was cleaned up and the ghost town returned.